Guyana’s government has demanded that U-Mobile, which operates as Digicel Guyana, pay overdue fees totalling GYD1 billion (US$4.6 million).
Kaieteur News Online reports that the government has hit Digicel with the demand as the operator faces investigation by Guyana’s regulatory authorities. According to documents viewed by the news outlet, Digicel began using spectrum before receiving permission to do so from the country’s regulator.
Earlier this year, Guyana’s Telecommunicaions Agency (TA) confirmed plans to issue 700MHz licences to three of the country’s operators – GTT (Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company), E-Networks and Digicel. However, the allocation has ostensibly not been completed, with approvals not yet confirmed.
Additionally, TeleGeography notes that Guyana implemented regulatory reforms in October 2020 relating to spectrum management, which required operators to receive approvals before using the LTE-ready spectrum. Digicel however began using its spectrum just weeks after the reforms came into effect, without authorisation – although its purpose for doing so has not yet been disclosed.
In July, Digicel Guyana’s CEO Gregory Dean was quoted by Stabroek News as saying that the operator was currently deploying an LTE network that would reach 83% of Guyana’s population. Its unauthorised spectrum usage could relate to this, although Digicel has not revealed any plans for a commercial launch.